On The LOOK OUT for Books FALL 2021

Today we’re taking a look at new picture books coming out this fall from our friends
Colleen Paeff, Kirsten Larson, Candy Wellins, Darshana Khiani, and NoNieqa Ramos!

Colleen Paeff

Question: “Where do you get your story ideas?”
Answer: My story ideas almost always start with a wonder. When I read about something called the Great Stink in a book about life in Victorian England, I thought, “I wonder what that is!” When I saw a delivery truck in India painted with beautiful designs, I thought, “I wonder if people in other countries decorate their delivery trucks!” In both cases, the wondering led me to do research which, eventually, led to a book.
The Great Stink: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London’s Poop Pollution Problem written and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Available August 31, 2021, Margaret K. McElderry Books

THE GREAT STINK with Colleen Paeff

Kirsten Larson

Question: “Where do you get your story ideas?”
Answer: I get story ideas everywhere: from books and magazine articles, TV shows, visiting museums, and even watching movies. For A TRUE WONDER: The Comic Book Hero Who Changed Everything, illustrated by Katy Wu (Clarion Books), I was inspired by the 2017 Wonder Woman movie — to finally see our childhood hero on the big screen was so powerful for so many women. Then I read a magazine article by historian Dr. Jill Lepore about how Wonder Woman was created, which prompted me to start digging into the true history of the comic book character.
A TRUE WONDER: The Comic Book Hero Who Changed Everything by Kirsten W. Larson
Illustrated by Katy Wu
Available September 28, Clarion Books

A TRUE WONDER with Kirsten Larson

Candy Wellins

Question: “Where do you get your story ideas?”
Answer: I’m obsessed with facts, trivia and the story behind the stories. I often get my best book ideas from forgotten moments in history. When my middle school students asked me questions about America’s space pioneers, I knew the names of our first man and woman in space as well as the first on the moon. But they stumped me when they asked who was the first to walk in space. A quick Google search gave me Edward White’s name, but deeper research led me to write a book about fulfilling lifelong goals, walking amongst the stars and loving what’s left behind on Earth even more.
The Stars Beckoned: Edward White’s Amazing Walk in Space by Candy, illustrated by Courtney Dawson
Available April 2021, Philomel

THE STARS BECKONED with Candy Wellins

Darshana Khiani

Question: “Where do you get your story ideas?”
Answer: I get story ideas from everywhere, viral videos on YouTube, my dog’s funny behavior, watching kids play, and many more. The most important thing for me is it has to spark my curiosity. Sometimes I will ask myself the “What If ?” question. One time I was having a hard time wearing a sari, which is a long piece of decorated cloth. I wondered if it’s this hard for me to wear it “What would it be like for a young girl?”. This question was the inspiration for my book How to Wear a Sari.
How to Wear a Sari by Darshana Khiani, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
Available June 22, 2021, Versify Books

HOW TO WEAR A SARI with Darshana Khiani

NoNieqa Ramos

Question: “Where do you get your story ideas?”
Answer: My ideas for picture books come from passion to heal and empower marginalized people and my despite to challenge myself to see things with a fresh decolonized perspective. When I came up with the idea for YOUR MAMA, I thought, what if I turned this joke on its head and wrote a book to smash the patriarchy and honor mamas and mother figures? I envisioned healing for all caregivers–and most especially brown and Black women– as they read my book, and the hearts of Littles swelling with pride as they celebrated their mamas. For HAIR STORY, I thought, this genre has so many spectacular books. What can I contribute? I pictured a motif of friendship between mamas and daughters and the mothers reveling in their spectacular selves, their family, and their community. Picture books can be restorative for the grown folx who didn’t grow up with Dr. Rudine Sim’s concept of mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. (Little known fact: I named one of my characters after Dr. Rudine Sims in HAIR STORY!) In a society that obscures the infinite beauty of marginalized people, picture books can shine a light on how miraculous our Littles–and Bigs– are.
YOUR MAMA by NoNieqa Ramos, illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara
OUT NOW!, Versify
HAIR STORY by NoNieqa Ramos, illustrated by Keisha Morris
Available September 7, 2021, Lerner

HAIR STORY with NoNieqa Ramos


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